food & grocery: Frugal Friday at Pita Pita - large sandwiches or delicious fattoush will fill you up, even if you're on a budget
Mary Bilyeu | Contributor
Jeremy and I ran several errands recently, and decided afterwards — frankly, even before we were done — that we were hungry. We decided to stop in at Pita Pita.
I hadn't gone in looking for a Frugal Floozie Friday feature; I was just looking for lunch. But as Jeremy and I perused the menu, it was clear we'd serendipitously found ourselves a place to post about!
Just as Jeremy will order a Reuben if he sees it on a menu (with one exception: he will never again order what he deems the worst Reuben he's ever eaten, which he'll readily rant about if you just ask him about it!), I will order fattoush if I find it. It's so simple — just vegetables, toasted pita bits, and a light dressing — but it's so, so good! The sumac that is integral to the vinaigrette is what makes it perfect, with just a hint of sourness.
I ordered the small portion for $3.95, and you can see that it was an enormous plateful! That alone could have kept me happy, but this was just a portion of my meal.
Mary Bilyeu |Contributor
For $4.95 — just under our mandatory $5 per person Frugal Floozie Friday budget — I also ordered the large Sujok sandwich, filled with spicy Lebanese sausage, tomatoes, garlic sauce and pickles. There is another sandwich listed on the menu with this very same description, the Mecanik Sausage sandwich; but our waiter very nicely explained that the Sujok is less intense, so I thought I'd give it a try. Jeremy doesn't like very spicy food, and this would give him a chance to taste the dish, too.
Sandwiches are easily a foot long and can readily be shared; if you split the fattoush and a sandwich with a dining companion, you've still come in under budget and feasted on a generous quantity of fabulous food for a stellar price. The sausage was very flavorful, not at all lost among all the other tastes. And while Jeremy raved about his own sandwich, he liked the sausage so much that he actually debated trading the remaining halves so that we could each have a portion of both delicious treats.
Mary Bilyeu | Contributor
Jeremy had ordered the beef shawarma, filled with tender beef, tomatoes, onions, pickles, and Tahini sauce. It, too, was an ideal balance of tastes and textures, with no one flavor overpowering the others. It was exceptionally good.
I had to ask for a take-out box, as I couldn't finish both the fattoush and my sandwich. As a waitress brought this to me, she asked if we'd like any rice pudding. Oh, it sounded wonderful! But there was no more room at the inn for dessert. She explained, though, that there was simply a large quantity still left, and she was generously offering to give some to us.
Scented with rose water, sprinkled with cinnamon, and drizzled with honey, the rice pudding was creamy and fragrant and wonderful! I brought it with my lunch the next day, and enjoyed it at my desk after just warming it up slightly in the microwave. At $2.50, this is another great option for a treat that costs very little while offering enormous satisfaction.
Pita Pita's menu features hummus and bana ghannuje that cost $3.95 for small servings; six different salads that come in at under $4 for small sizes; 20 different sandwiches that cost less than $5 for large portions; and an extensive vegetarian menu. There are many, many options that will allow you to eat well for very little money!
2649 Washtenaw Ave.
Ypsilanti, Michigan 48197
Mary Bilyeu writes for AnnArbor.com on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, telling about her adventures in the kitchen - making dinner, celebrating holidays, entering cooking contests, meeting new friends ... whatever strikes her fancy. She is also on a mission to find great deals for her Frugal Floozie Friday posts, seeking fabulous food at restaurants on the limited budget of only $5 per person. Feel free to email her with questions, comments, or suggestions: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Go visit Mary's blog — Food Floozie — where she enthuses and effuses over all things food-related; and look for her monthly articles in the Washtenaw Jewish News. "Like" her on Facebook, or send a tweet on Twitter, too.
The phrase "You Should Only Be Happy" (written in Hebrew on the stone pictured in this post) comes from Deuteronomy 16:15 and is a wish for all her readers - when you come to visit here, may you always be happy.